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Disney Stock Down 8 Percent in December Despite Historic ‘Star Wars’ Opening

Walt Disney Co. started the month at $115.39 per share; it’s currently trading around $106

It’s been a long December for Disney, and there’s reason to believe that the media company’s stock struggles may continue into the new year.

At the time of this writing on the morning of Dec. 21, Disney stock (DIS) was trading down about 8.4 percent from where it stood on the first of the month. This, despite Friday’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” breaking all sorts of box office records over the past weekend. (Not the overseas B.O. record, however, as the film has yet to release in China.)

It’s important to point out, however, that by publish time, the DIS share price was threatening to rally back.

Those aforementioned domestic ticket sales records, by the way, didn’t exactly creep up on anybody. It was widely predicted to become the biggest movie opening in history — and “Episode VII” met those expectations. In other words, the weekend’s massive $238 million opening was closer to a Wall Street forecast than a pleasant surprise.

To understand the downward trend, one must look beyond a weekend. Here is a snapshot of Disney’s last 30 days on the New York Stock Exchange:

DIS stock

This isn’t the first Disney stock story to point out why the massive media company is down, and it probably won’t be the last.

Analysts at BTIG downgraded Disney stock on Friday, as the company’s ESPN subscriber loss has proven to be a scary longterm proposition. BTIG’s Rich Greenfield believes that negative outweighs the positives that “Star Wars” is currently delivering. The share price was clearly already trending downward before the downgrade, however.

Bob Iger and company dumped their bad cable subscription news on the eve of Thanksgiving. That was essentially the turning point for Mouse-House stockholders.

That said, it also doesn’t help that the general domestic stock markets have also been down late in the 2015 holiday season.

For another perspective on Disney stock, MoffettNathanson has not altered it’s rating since qualifying DIS as a “Buy” in early November.

So it’s not all doom and gloom for Mickey, Minnie and the gang. Optimists on the street would see that company stock is still above 100 bucks per share, the company comfortably has the No. 1 movie in the world, and there’s still 10 days in December to try and make this month a winner.

Read more details about the BTIG downgrade and that group’s new financial forecasts and requirements for Disney here.